Tutorial :Does javascript force specific charset?


I am trying to use javascript, without framework(prototype, jQuery,etc), to insert data passed from a html form to an mysql database. I have managed to get this working but, get a problem with some special characters commonly used in my language(æøå). utf-8 supports these characters, and everything works fine when I skip the javascript. However when I try to pass the content of the html form through javascript post function and executing the query with my working php script, every æøå is converted into æøå.

To break it down, does javascript somehow force a specific charset when no other is determined in the code? I have tried to specify charset in the header of the javascript post and the php file as well as the html form.

I believe it must be something wrong or missing in my javascript file, formpost.js:

    function sendText(visbool){    var http =new GetXmlHttpObject();    var url = "sendtext.php";    var ovrskrift = document.form1.overskrift.value;    var cont = document.form1.content.value;      var params = "overskrift=" + ovrskrift + "&tekst=" + cont + "&visbool=" + visbool;    http.open("POST", url, true);      //Send the proper header information along with the request    http.setRequestHeader("Content-type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");    http.setRequestHeader("Content-length", params.length);    http.setRequestHeader("Connection", "close");      http.onreadystatechange = function() {//Call a function when the state changes.      if(http.readyState == 4 && http.status == 200) {          // gjør noe smart her      }    }    http.send(params);  }      function GetXmlHttpObject()   {    var objXMLHttp=null;   if (window.XMLHttpRequest)    {    objXMLHttp=new XMLHttpRequest();    }   else if (window.ActiveXObject)    {    objXMLHttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");    }   return objXMLHttp;   }  


<?php  //variabler for spørring  $date= date('Y-m-d');  $overskrift= $_POST["overskrift"];  $ostr='36';  $tekst= $_POST["content"];  //$tekst="test tekst";  $istr='32';  $bilde="";  $style="onlyinfo.css";  //$vis=$_POST['visbool'];  $vis=0;    require ('../config.php'); // henter informasjon om database tilkoblingen fra config.php    if (!$con){die('Could not connect: ' . mysql_error());} // lager feilmelding hvis tilkoblingen mislyktes    // spørring for databasen, konstrueres etter variablene som er angitt ovenfor  $sql="INSERT INTO tbl_info(dato,overskrift_tekst,overskrift_str,infotekst_tekst,infotekst_str,bilde,style,vismeg) VALUES('" . $date . "','" . $overskrift . "','" . $ostr . "','" . $tekst . "','" . $istr . "','" . $bilde . "','" . $style . "','" . $vis . "')";  $result = mysql_query($sql); // kjører spørring og lagrer resultat i $result    mysql_close($con); // lukker database tilkoblingen  ?>  

createslide.php: (reserved .php extension for future code implementation)

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">  <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" dir="ltr">  <head>  <title>inforMe: Legg til side</title>  <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="./css/style.css" id="adminss">    <script src="./js/formpost.js"></script>  <script type="text/javascript" src="./tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/tiny_mce.js"></script>  <script type="text/javascript">  tinyMCE.init({      mode : "textareas"  });  </script>    </head>  <body>  <div class="imgupload">    <input type="button" value="Last opp bilde"> <img src="" />  </div>  <div class="form">    <form name="form1" method="post" action="sendtext.php">      <label for="overskrift">Overskrift:</label>      <input type="text" size="70" id="overskift" name="overskrift"><br />      <label for="content">Tekst:</label>      <textarea id="content" name="content" cols="50" rows="15">This is some content that will be editable with TinyMCE.</textarea>      <input type="button" value="save draft" onclick="sendText(0)"/>      <input type="button" value="save and publish" onclick="sendText(1)"/>      <input type="submit" value="regular submit button"/>    </form>  </div>    </body>  </html>  

NB! I don't really know where to put this information so.. well.. I decided to go with it here: First of all thanks for all good suggestions below. I belive the question were answered. As to my problem, it is only partly solved.

It seems like the utf-8 charset is lost somewhere along the line here, if I create a new mysql database with Latin-1 charset and change the charset options in my files to iso-8859-1 it works exactly right. Since my test setup is based on all norwegian software(browsers, db server, etc), I suppose wherever it is not otherwise specified it will return iso-8859-1

NBB! And now it's all good again. everything works fine when I add:

header('Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8');

to the top of my sendtext.php file.


Try appending the charset to the content-type header like this:

"application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8;"  

Also, in your document you should specify it is utf-8 in the header:

<META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />  

You should probably also do encodeURI(value) on all your values so it's properly url encoded.


Internally, JavaScript uses Unicode, so it can store your umlauts without problem. Note: Unicode != UTF-8.

But then, you try to send that text to your server and here, the trouble starts. The wire (Internet) between the browser and your server doesn't support Unicode, so the browser has to encode the data. So it converts the Unicode to an UTF-8 byte stream.

On the server side, you must convert the data back to Unicode.


I realise this question was posted already two years ago, but the reason PQW's answer works is that the client (browser) should reply using the same character set the page was served with (thus specifying UTF-8 in a META-tag works). Using Javascript doesn't change this basic assumption (so the answer would be correct whether Javascript was involved or not).

The "most correct method" is to specify the character set in the server response header, but because this is not always possible (perhaps you don't have any control over them or a number of other reasons), the META-approach is the next best way to achieve this.


It doesn't force one, but depending on the charset of the HTML reading it in, both of the display charset set in the metadata and the way the file format is saved, it will go all funny...

So, when you save the HTML and the Javascript, save both as UTF-8.

Furthermore, in PHP you might need some mb_internal_encoding action...


I think you can try using encodeURIComponent.

var ovrskrift = encodeURIComponent(document.form1.overskrift.value);  

You should use this instead of escape. Read more on this page: Comparing escape(), encodeURI(), and encodeURIComponent().

It states:

[...]you should avoid use of escape() whenever possible. The best alternative is usually encodeURIComponent(). [...]

...and that seems to be correct in my experiences too.


Two untested (in relation to your code sample) suggestions:

(1) Reference your external JS with charset attribute:

<script src="file.js" type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"></script>  

(2) Maybe something more can be done on the PHP side, like strip non-UTF8 chars?:

<?php  $result = iconv("UTF-8","UTF-8//IGNORE", $result);  ?>  


Javascript doesn't 'force' a code page like that. To get the result you want just use escape() and unescape() to pass the extended ASCII.


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